Craig Levein blasts officials over Partick's equaliser against Hearts

Craig Levein criticised referee Andrew Dallas and his officials following Hearts 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle. The Tynecastle manager insisted an offside and a handball were missed as Kris Doolan struck Thistle's equaliser five minutes from full-time.

Monday, 20th November 2017, 5:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:38 am
Craig Levein feels there was a handball and an offside in the lead-up to Partick's goal. Pic: SNS

Levein was upset neither of the incidents were spotted by Dallas or his assistants. Hearts were leading 1-0 through Esmael Goncalves’ goal and looked comfortable until Doolan’s sucker-punch.

It brought a sour ending on the day the hosts returned to Tynecastle Park and opened their new main stand.

“I’m frustrated and disappointed, particularly with the officials,” complained Levein, pictured. “The goal is clearly offside and it’s a handball. That frustrates the life out of me after restricting Partick to one shot on target in 90 minutes - and that was the goal.

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“One player was offside as the free-kick came in, then as he challenged and the ball dropped he’s punched it. The ball went through to Doolan and he’s scored.

“It’s a clear offside. Even if there are bodies there and the referee and linesman can’t see the handball, it’s offside.

“I thought it would take something like that to beat us because, defensively, we weren’t out of second gear. I was really pleased with that aspect. Unfortunately, I’m ruing the fact that the linesman didn’t do his job properly.”

Levein praised Goncalves’ goal after the Portuguese delivered another quality finish. “I wouldn’t say we were great but there were moments I was pleased with,” continued the manager.

“Isma seems to make a habit of scoring good goals and yesterday’s was another one. He had a good bit of skill on the wing, then came inside and managed to find the bottom corner. I felt good. I felt if we only got one goal that would be enough, but it wasn’t the case.”